Wallets are a very personal thing. Generally speaking, once you find one you like, you stick with that one until it wears out, and then spend weeks trying to find a replacement that’s the same style, only to realize that they don’t make them anymore, and you’re going to have to find something else. This was my dilemma, so when I was asked to review the Flipside Wallet, I was a little dubious about how well I would like it, given how particular I am.
Now to be fair, I’m bifold guy. I know some people prefer a long checkbook style wallet, or carry a trifold, but I’ve always been a fan of the bifold style. My last wallet, a leather bifold that’s been with me through two states, four jobs, and five moves finally started to wear to the point that I couldn’t use it any more. I was starting to panic.
Then, the Flipside wallet showed up. After figuring out how to open it for the first time, I was surprised by the quality of the design. The wallet is made from an industrial plastic, similar to the type used in pelican cases. It opens much like a flip phone, with one side intended for credit cards, ID, and things of that nature, and the other side has a clear plastic holder for cash. There’s a center divider that provides additional storage for credit cards on the right side, and a space for a photograph on the left. I did attempt to put my ID in the photograph slot, though my drivers license was obviously too thick to fit. I wouldn’t advise doing it.
The case is spring loaded, and when you move the latch to open it, it will open smoothly and quickly. The hinge is not just plastic however, there is an aluminum bar that looks like it would outlast the plastic. The metal plates inside are held together with tiny aluminum screws. This implies the possibility that if you were to break a side or a retaining clip, you might be able to order a replacement.
The Good: It’s built to last, the aluminum plates will protect you from RFID hacking (remember, those Real IDs are coming in 2010), and it’s small enough that you could put it in your back pocket, but be aware that its stiffness really only qualifies it for your front or jacket pocket. Also, how many other wallets offer a one year warranty?
The Bad: They are a little expensive at $39.95. Also, the one I was sent to review was the color “Orange Crush” and it’s horrible. If you are fixated on putting your wallet in your back pocket, this might not be for you.
Bottom Line: While this is a product that we made fun of in the past (what haven’t we made fun of) it’s actually not bad. A plastic wallet that you carry in your front pocket might not be for everyone, but it is for me. Just not in that awful safety orange color.[gallery]